Day 21: Another Man’s Hands. “I insisted on being in the exam room with Susan and Dr. Blonder*. How weird is it to watch another man put his hands on Susan’s bare chest.”
A few days ago, I wrote about the decision to “be the supporter” and not the “director” and therefore to go along with Susan’s decision on the selection of the Oncologist. I call him Dr. Blonder in the play. Now, at the first appointment, I find myself in the small exam room as Susan removes her top exposing her bare chest. I squirm, Susan climbs on the exam table and lies down without hesitation.
I stood toward the back of this small exam room. The classic exam table in front on my right for Susan to lay on, covered with white paper over the brown plastic cushions. A sink and materials on the counter to the left. No window. The door to my back with a wall phone sitting to the right as you faced the door. It was uncomfortable for me. Susan seemed perfectly comfortable and matter-of-fact. Dr. Blonder puts on his gloves and reaches down and uses his full hands to press and feel around Susan’s bare chest. Susan seemed to smile at me in an effort to reassure me. Dr. Blonder then begins to run his finger down the lips of the incision, when suddenly, he stops. He says nothing. Instead, he does a military style about-face, walks to the opposite wall an picks up the phone. Now that is strange.
Stat of the Day: Arizona. According to the CDC in 2012 was the State with both the lowest incidence of female breast cancer and the lowest death rate. Minnesota on the other is among the states with the highest incidence of female breast cancer AND among the states with the lowest death rates.
Task of the Day: I think it is useful, though uncomfortable, for men whose wives are going to undergo a mastectomy to look at pictures. There will always be anticipation but knowing what to expect is helpful and can prepare you for that “first look.” There isn’t a great source for these pictures but as between Google and Bing, I preferred Bing.
Resource of the Day: A good article for women dealing with the post-mastectomy blues.
The Actual Dance: Performances. Donate.
*Dr. Blonder is the character in the play. It is not the real name of Susan’s Oncologist.